The database

This is an ongoing collaborative project, between Border Criminologies, Mobile Info Team and the Border Violence Monitoring Network. It seeks to develop and maintain an interactive, open access database of human rights violations inside immigration detention facilities, with an initial focus on Greece. Detention has become a worrying fixture of asylum and removal procedures across Europe, subjecting individuals to reprehensible conditions and systematised violence that takes place within closed structures that are increasingly restricted from the public. This results in a vacuum whereby detainees find it virtually impossible to claim their rights. By pooling knowledge and making it freely available, this project documents the conditions and behaviour of law enforcement personnel inside detention centres, serving as an evidence base to support further research, legal action and advocate for justice and accountability. The database also hopes to facilitate trans-regional learning and maximise opportunities for advocates and lawyers in other parts of the world to access information that could strengthen their work. The database has been funded by ESRC-IAA grants and Open Society Foundations.

The Collaboration

Based at the Centre for Criminology at the University of Oxford, Border Criminologies is an international network of researchers, practitioners, and those who have experienced border control. Established in 2013, we showcase cutting-edge original research from a range of perspectives to better understand the effect and harms of border control and to explore alternatives. Through a range of methods, including visual resources and first-hand accounts, Border Criminologies contributes to a greater understanding of law and policy.

Mobile Info Team (MIT) is an organisation based in Greece that provides comprehensive information and assistance to people throughout all stages of the asylum procedure. MIT provides vital information to more than 5,000 individuals per year in 6 languages through online communication platforms and in-person sessions. The legal team offers in-depth support in a wide range of legal matters, including issues related to integration and the Dublin Regulation. In line with MIT’s expertise on access to asylum procedures, they carry out research grounded in their own casework register, and use reports to advocate for an inclusive and rights-based approach to international protection and the related procedures. In relation to this project, MIT carried out research regarding access to procedures and the general conditions in detention centres on mainland Greece.

Border Violence Monitoring Network (BVMN) is an independent network of NGOs, associations and collectives that monitors human rights violations at the borders of Europe and advocates to stop violence against people on the move. The Network began monitoring illegal pushbacks and police violence along Europe’s external borders in 2017, however the scope has since increased to encompass the Western Balkans, Greece and Türkiye with a growing focus on pushbacks from central European states such as Italy and Slovenia. In relation to this project, BVMN carried out research into reports of police violence in detention across mainland Greece.

The Team

Mary Bosworth is a Professor of Criminology and Director of the Centre for Criminology and Fellow of St Cross College at the University of Oxford and, concurrently, Professor of Criminology at Monash University in Australia. In Oxford, Mary directs Border Criminologies, an interdisciplinary research group focusing on the intersections between criminal justice and border control. Prof. Bosworth has published widely on immigration detention in a number of countries, including the UK, Greece, France, Hungary and Italy. She is currently conducting research into in-country detainee transportation and deportation. Prof. Bosworth 's research has been funded by the European Research Council, the Leverhulme Trust, the British Academy, the ESRC, the Nuffield Foundation, the Open Society Foundations, and the John Fell Fund. Mary is the UK Editor-in-Chief of Theoretical Criminology, a co-editor of Routledge Studies in Criminal Justice, Borders and Citizenship, and Clarendon Studies in Criminology at Oxford University Press.

Andriani Fili has been working on immigration detention in Greece since 2011, both as a researcher and as an NGO practitioner. Drawing together a large amount of empirical data, her PhD research explored the mechanisms through which the detention system in Greece has withstood harsh criticism and underpinned a continuum of institutional racism and harmful practices. Her current research project, funded by Wellcome Trust, explores the role and impact of health provision on people inside immigration detention centres and after release in Greece. Drawing on a range of sources of evidence, it further examines the continuity of experiences of medical care across and beyond these spaces and through time, tracing connections between zones of quarantine and confinement for those deemed undesirable in the country. In Greece she is also involved in counter-mapping activities of migrant containment spaces in collaboration with local civil society actors.

Manon Louis is an open source intelligence analyst focused on visual investigations and interdisciplinary research methods. She has worked extensively in field reporting, testimony collection and advocacy with the Border Violence Monitoring Network, and previously coordinated EU advocacy efforts for Mobile Info Team. Her work focuses on pushbacks, immigration detention and human rights violations at EU borders.

Phevos Simeonidis Phevos Simeonidis is an OSINT & audiovisual forensics researcher and an archivist. He is an MA graduate from the Centre for Research Architecture, a researcher and investigative partner of OmniaTv and The Manifold in Greece, and a PhD candidate at Durham University, SGIA.


Learn more about the collection of data, done through a consortium of field reporters who are members of various organisations in Greece.

The Database

Explore the data for this evidence-based platform that documents human rights violations inside immigration detention facilities.